A new poll out of New Hampshire shows front runner Donald Trump gaining momentum while Dr. Ben Carson is losing ground. And herein lies the makings of Jeb Bush's path to the Republican presidential nomination.
The current GOP primary campaign is like no other in political history. A pattern has emerged whereby anyone who gets too close to Trump gets eaten alive by the billionaire businessman. He's been a game-changing phenomenon, with an overstuffed arsenal of personal cash and outrageous bombast which affords him unprecedented levels of freedom to do or say anything he wants, no matter how offensive or counter-intuitive it may be according to conventional wisdom. And his rapacious fans eat it all up like funnel cakes at a state fair.
Make the mistake of attacking Trump and you'll soon find yourself on the outside looking in. He'll turn the tables on you through a ruthless, relentless barrage of insults, ad hominem attacks, expletive-laced rhetoric and generally unpresidential behavior. Seems the more he jumps the shark, the more the shark says, "F**k it, I'm outta here!"
Despite Trump's impressive domination of the race so far, there's still much uncertainty and a lack of consensus among party insiders over leadership and who's most electable. Let's face it: the ride's been fascinating in that 20-car pile-up kind of way, but the likelihood is that Trump will not be the party's nominee, no matter how much of a rock star he may appear to be right now. The math just doesn't add up. His 20+% support among the GOP's radical fringe is not enough to carry him to the convention next Summer (besides the fact that he's lately appeared mentally unhinged). So then who takes the mantle?
Carson, a truth-challenged empty suit with an impressive scalpel, is beginning to implode, and he will soon exit. The next in line candidates don't fare any better. Ted Cruz, like Trump, is too much of a crazy ideologue to garner widespread national support. And Marco Rubio is too young, too inexperienced and too obvious a choice for a solid vice presidential appointment. It's simply not his time to be president.
So who's left? Chris Christie? Too brash, too unpopular and too much baggage. No one wants an angry, obese, scandal-plagued president... especially one who's cut his teeth in New Jersey. That leaves a crop of zero-chance, almost-gone candidates including Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich (also a great VP choice) and Mike Huckabee. And then there's Bush.
Bush has the cash and, more importantly, the moderate-enough positions (and sanity) to wait patiently for the clown show to end. He's been Mr. Steady with his roughly 6%, and stands the best chance of winning the war of attrition with Trump. Bush's plan is for Trump to take down all the others and then begin imploding himself. One might argue that Trump's implosion is already underway, the same way volcanoes erupt: you can't really see how bad it is until the lava starts violently spewing from the top. And then guess who's the last man standing?